The exclusive collection of students granted the opportunity to view the NBC Republican Presidential Candidates Debate live inside Theatre 1 was a resultof limitations placed on student tickets by the network’s decision with University Communications and Marketing (UCM).
Of the 70 students whoattended the Jan. 23 debate, about 10 were chosen from the Political Science Honor Society and UCM requested the remaining60 come from Student Government (SG).
Lindsay Lewis, SG director of Governmental Affairs, said the Thursday before the debate she received a phone call from UCM at 4 p.m. asking tosubmit a list of around50 names of SG-affiliated students who could be “trusted.”
After an initial 20 studenttickets were reserved for SG executive officers, Lewis said she submitted the full roster of SG senators to UCM for names to be cleared past security.
“I had a very short amount of time to provide them with a list,” she said. “That’s what they told me do, it wasn’t my choice. I didn’t choose to just go through Student Government. I wish I could have opened it up, but that was directed to me.”
Yet the day of the actualdebate, not all senators on the standby list showed up,Lewis said.
Lewis said she foundbetween 10 to 15 students who appeared to be “well-dressed.” Thosestudents went through event security and had their names written down so they could be easily tracked if they did incite a disturbance.
“I was assuming that if they were dressed for a watch party, they would behave inside the theater,” Lewis said. “I saw a row of people who were in suits and ties, so I asked, ‘Would you like to go to the debate?’ They quickly threw their plates and cups away and ran toward the door, so they were very excited.”
NBC also distributed tickets to students who volunteered for the network throughout the week.
– Staff Report